So proud to serve

07:10 23 February 2013

Email your letters to andrew.keeble@archant.co.uk or write to us at Opinion, North Devon Gazette, Unit 3, Old Station Road, Barnstaple, EX32 8PB. Please keep letters to maximum of 300 words and also include your name, address and contact telephone number.

Email your letters to andrew.keeble@archant.co.uk or write to us at Opinion, North Devon Gazette, Unit 3, Old Station Road, Barnstaple, EX32 8PB. Please keep letters to maximum of 300 words and also include your name, address and contact telephone number.

Archant

In 1996, along with a fellow councillor and old school chum, Stewart Alexander, we took it on ourselves to ensure some form of honour was bestowed locally on the US Regiments that had been based in Exmouth prior to the D-Day invasion.

After serious planning and considering official details and East Devon District Council permission, the first of our ideas came to fruition and the 531st Tribute Fund was born.

For 16 years, the fund continued to raise money for local good causes: Rolle Medical Partnership, Exmouth Hospital, Ex-Service Associations, seriously ill local children, local sea cadets and many other deserving groups and individuals, some of whom asked to remain anonymous.

We held some of the biggest parades ever seen in Exmouth to honour our D-Day veterans and veterans of all theatres of war. We were one of the very first towns to honour the Merchant Navy by having their logo carved alongside the armed forces on the Wall of Remembrance. We were the first to build a memorial to remember those killed on September 11, 2001; Exmouth families lost three on that horrendous day.

Along with Orchard Memorials, we collated all the names of Exmouth’s war dead from 1914 to the present, many were available via author Eric Delderfield’s records, but more were provided via service records and private individuals and until 2012 we financed the last names that have been recorded on The Strand memorial.

Many, many good things came out of those 16 years and the fund owes a great debt of gratitude to all the committee members that made my chairmanship throughout so very much on of pride.

Throughout all this time, the Exmouth Journal has supported and publicised all we have done and without them our job would have been so much harder and may even have shortened considerably our efforts to help and honour so many.

Ill health, unfortunately, brought it all to an end for me, and the rest of the crew decided not to go ahead without me, so all we have done and tried to do has now come to a close, including any further names that, God forbid, may need to be honoured in The Strand. The people of Exmouth have been tremendously supportive and helped us to raise in excess of £120,000, build four memorials and many other wonderful deeds.

Thank you all for 16 very memorable years, I will miss the June events and everyone who supported us but, alas, all good things must come to an end though I wish it could have continued. Exmouth should be very proud of what they did to raise the funds, we only provided a committee to serve you.

Lionel R Howell

Exmouth

0 comments

Other News Stories

Kaz Lobendhan of the south devon chilli farm with staff at Darts Farm about to take the chilli challenge. Ref ext 2706-34-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

People visiting a Topsham-based farm shop were being asked to test their taste buds as part of a chilli tasting test.

Read more
Dame Hilary Mantel: 'As I work my way through the third book it often feels as exciting as the first day I started'

World-renowned author Dame Hilary Mantel has spoken of her love for Budleigh Salterton in an exclusive interview with Devon Life magazine.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:32

The most common tactic fraudsters used last year to try to con Devon residents’ out of cash was to offer a ‘free’ trial.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:30
Janice is pictured with Managing Partner, Neil Curtis left and Exmouth Partner Ruskin Wilson after receiving her bouquet of flowers and card.

An accountant is celebrating her 30th anniversary with an Exmouth firm.

Read more
Fri, 16:36
Harry Wilkes celebrated his 100th birthday with family and friends at Amberwood Nursing Home on Exeter Road this week. Harry is pictured enjoying his day with his family. Ref exe 8446-35-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

At least 40 friends and three generations of family turned out to celebrate the 100th birthday of Exmouth’s newest centenarian, Harry Wilkes.

Read more
Fri, 16:30
Yvonne Wardrop in the glider she flew in for her 90th birthday present.

An Exmouth great-grandmother has enjoyed a 90th birthday celebration with a difference – taking to the skies in a glider.

Read more
Fri, 16:29
Founder of Exmouth Zop passes away

Trudy Smith, who died earlier this month, aged 85, had a truly remarkable life.

Read more
Fri, 14:42
The Red Arrows at Sidmouth. Ref shs 5777-35-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Pictues:

Read more
Fri, 06:56
Littleham's Brianna Evans, currently Miss Devon is preparing for the Miss England competition. Ref exe 5655-30-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

A Littleham teenager, whose hopes of becoming Miss England were dashed by a health scare, has been given automatic entry into next year’s contest.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 14°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition today E-edition


Exmouth's trusted business finder